The eyes of the nation are on Texas today. As a native-born daughter, I assure you we like it that way!Liz Carpenter

The IWY Commission organized meetings in every state and territory to debate resolutions and elect delegates. The 2,005 individuals chosen represented a veritable “kaleidoscope of American womanhood,” as one attendee told the New York Times. It included Democrats and Republicans, seasoned advocates and first-timers, stay-at-home moms and entrepreneurs, teenage students and retirees, and leaders of both the National Gay Task Force and the National Council of Catholic Women. To compensate for the lack of racial diversity of some delegations, the IWY Commission also appointed several at-large delegates. Women of color ultimately made up a third of the conference delegates.

The delegation from Texas—chaired by State Representative Irma Rangel, the first Latina to serve in the Texas Legislature, and Owanah Anderson, an American Indian spokeswoman—included more Latinas than any other state as well as prominent women’s rights advocates like Roe v. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington. With Houston as the site of the conference, the role of Texas women naturally extended beyond its delegation. Some 2,000 local volunteers performed most of the groundwork. The IWY Commission also included two native Texans: Liz Carpenter and Gloria Scott. Both spoke during the opening ceremony, as did former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.